Smoking Lobster
You come to the Isle of Wight, you want seafood. You’d think there’d be no problem with that, really. After all, we are surrounded by the stuff. Londoners arriving at their cosy cottages by the sea reasonably expect crustaceans to be marching up from the beaches and throwing themselves... Read more
Taverners, Godshill
In the days when holidaymakers flooded to the Island in their droves during the same two weeks in August there were some must-sees on the tourist itinerary: The Needles, Carisbrooke Castle and a thatched cottage. Shanklin Old Village probably topped the straw-roof charts, closely followed by equally picturesque Winkle... Read more
Heima, Brading
“Is chef Max trying to outdo Robert Thompson?” reflected one of our dining companions in amazement during our dinner at Brading’s newest restaurant, the Nordic-influenced Heima. Well, no, he isn’t. As the evening went on it became clear that Heima has very much a style and context all of... Read more
Waverley Inn, Carisbrooke
Throughout England the allure of Wetherspoons is quite irresistible. And it’s easy to see why. The budget pub chain has a reputation for its sympathetic treatment of historic town centre buildings – as we discovered for ourselves in Harrogate. And, of course, it’s cheap as chips. Regardless of its... Read more
Chocolate Apothecary, Ryde
In October, chocolate chainstore Thornton’s announced that it was closing its last branch on the Isle of Wight. When we heard the news our minds once again turned to what the Island has rather than has not. As one by one the national stores withdraw their branches, local independent... Read more
Prego, East Cowes
Much is said these days of gentrification; the process by which overlooked and undervalued areas are upgraded, often by incomers. This has long been going on on the mainland and beyond. Unfashionable boroughs of London and even New York have incrementally been improved by the rising tide of hipsters,... Read more
Jolliffes of Cowes
Much is being trumpeted at the moment about the government’s idea of stopping central funding for public services through the ‘liberation’ of selected bits of England from the shackles of Westminster control. This is, on the surface, potentially an appealing prospect. There’s a local Solent Devolution Deal including the... Read more
Archive: Waxworks, Brading
Archive review: The Waxworks has now closed Where could you have found George Bernard Shaw on his trusty tricycle, Queen Victoria forever tapping her toe and an angelic cat with wings? No, not Alfred Lord Tennyson’s Freshwater salon, but Osborne-Smith’s waxworks in Brading. The candy-coloured museum was quite literally... Read more
Ventnor Haven Fishery
Dining by the seaside – it’s what we’re all here for really. Whether you’re on holiday, or you live on the Isle of Wight, be honest and admit that you just love settling down with a view of the sea and something to nibble on. Be it childhood’s sandy... Read more
Bellamy’s
Cuisine. A foreign word that implies foreign cooking. As the world seemingly shrinks and we all become ‘travellers’ rather than holidaymakers, our experience of other cultures becomes part of our daily vocabulary. We enjoy spicy Mexican tacos and enthuse about Italian salami, we nibble at sushi even if our... Read more